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ACTIVITY 4-1: select the standard

The multilevel assessment method aligns open-ended inquiry-oriented investigations to the content standards that educators use to organize their instruction.

1. Define the primary targeted content
You need to define the primary academic content targeted by your investigation. You may be introducing a new technology or idea to your learners, but you are likely doing so to help them learn standards-based content that they are expected to know. For example, if your investigation concerns resource recycling when growing food on an interplanetary mission, your targeted content would be the life science topic of resource recycling, rather than interplanetary travel. (Of course, it is helpful for learners to also learn about interplanetary travel!)

Additionally, your investigation may cover several different content areas. For example, if you are teaching about the mathematics of space travel, it will certainly involve physics as well. For the purposes of this exercise, you need to select one.

2. Pick one content standard
The process of locating the actual standard in step 2 should have prepared you for this process. Refer to the content standards you identified that align to your investigation. Most standards include general inquiry or process standards as well as more specific content standards. For the purpose of this exercise, pick a content standard, but take into account how your selected standard relates to more general inquiry and process standards.

For step 4 you locate one content standard (see examples below) that is aligned to the inquiry-oriented investigation that you are developing.

Deliverable 4-1: Targeted Content and Standards

Download the targeted content and standards outline and complete deliverable 4-1.

The following examples are taken from assessments developed for one of the investigation activities, Weather or Not?, from Exploring the Environment (Cross & Hickey, 2005) and for the Operation Montserrat implementation for the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future’s Inspiration Challenge.

Continue to Activity 4-2.

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